David Duchovny has accomplished quite a lot in his 57 or so years on the planet – actor, writer, director, producer, novelist and most recently, singer songwriter. Looking around at the crowd who showed up to see him strut his stuff live in concert, it was evident that the bulk of these people came to his music via his iconic portrayal of FBI Agent Fox Mulder from the cult TV series The X-Files. The opening act Georgia Maq, the Melbourne singer songwriter who is probably better known as one third of folk rock trio Camp Cope, evidently was. As a solo acoustic performer she had the makings of a lamb heading to a slaughter amid the ravenous front stage dwellers who were hungry for dreamboat Duchovny. Including a song with the line “the nights that we spent watching X-Files in your living room” and proclaiming that opening for Duchovny was a dream come true for her immediately saw her win the crowd over. That and her admission that she had earlier purchased pillow cases from the merchant desk to mark this momentous occasion. Yes, for a mere $30 you could spend the night cheek to cheek with Duchovny in your bed!
From the outset, this didn’t seem like a rock crowd at all. I felt like I could have been at Comic Con or Armageddon Expo or perhaps amongst the crowd of fans lining the red carpet outside the Logies hoping to catch a glimpse of a star. Once Duchovny did emerge from the shadows of side stage to the strains of AC/DC’s menacing “Thunderstruck” the surge forward from those around me was tangible. His 5 piece band backed him up solidly as Duchovny moved through the Americana and rock infused set. Consisting mainly of original songs from his 2015 debut “Hell or Highwater” and his latest Pledge Music crowd funded album “Every Third Thought”, it seems that Duchovny was prepared for the less than conventional crowd, including covers such as The Band’s “The Weight“, Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” and Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” complete with hand to ear, microphone outstretched crowd singing. Oddly enough, the latter was sung by his keyboardist who was Duchovny’s vocal wing man for most of the performance. Professing his love for the song but lamenting that it was out of his range, it was interesting that as a solo artist fronting a band he was happy to hand over the vocal duties rather than choose a cover that was in his range. Funnily enough Neil Finn was probably singing that very song just a couple of KMs away at the Melbourne Zoo at the same moment!
Duchovny spent a great deal of his performance giving the crowd what they wanted. He may not have the benefit of being able to hone his live performance skills as a vocalist by playing 10 years of shitty gigs through shitty PAs to tough crowds like most touring musicians but he sure knows how to work the room. Every time I looked around there were people smiling ear to ear, the crowd at the front were happy to let others through to take close up snaps as Duchovny strutted his stuff. As I said, this wasn’t your typical rock crowd. There were probably a lot more camera phones blatantly being held aloft than I’m used to but again, this was obviously an understood part of the price of admission. Duchovny was more than happy to move in towards the lenses with his Hank Moody sneer or Fox Mulder smouldering gaze. It was during these moments that I found it hard to determine whether or not he was acting out his rock star fantasy or just continuing to live the dream? Either way, as an entertainer he certainly got the job done and that was the truth that was definitely out there!